6 Ways on How to Prevent Tanning (sun tanning)

woman with hat and cream in sun

If you want to prevent yourself from tanning or even getting burned in the sun there are a host of things you can do that will help prevent your skin from tanning.

To name a few you have protecting your skin with clothes, wearing sunscreen, and avoiding the midday sun. Below we will go into 6 different ways on how to prevent yourself from tanning with some special advice.

#1 Protect Your Skin with Clothes

Probably the most important and essential thing you can do to protect yourself from the sun is to wear clothes.

As an example, long sleeved shirts are better because they protect most of your arms from the sun. Also wearing a hat, especially something like a brim hat is great because it offers protection to most of the face as well as the neck.

Keep in mind that all materials will not protect 100% against the sun and some are better than others. Therefore, if you are spending a lot of time in the sun it would be worth applying sunscreen before if the clothes you are wearing are a thinner material for example. For more on this check our article – Can You Tan Through Clothing?

You can also opt for UPF clothing which are guaranteed to protect against all the UV rays.

It’s also worth mention that lighter color clothes because they help reflect the light and the UV rays away from the skin instead of attracting them like darker colors. When means lighter colors help protect the skin better. For more information on this check our article – What is the Best Color for Sun Protection?

#2 Wear Sunscreen

Any exposed skin to the sun should always be applied with sunscreen before heading out. The higher the SPF the better the sunscreen will help protect the skin from tanning and burning.

Keep in mind that even with stronger SPF cream such as SPF 50+ there is still some UV rays that pass through so it’s still possible that you can tan especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun. SPF 50 should block about 98% of UV rays though.

If you want the best protection SPF 50 is an ideal choice. If you are spending only 1-2 hours or less in the sun SPF 30 will also offer great protection. Try to stick to these higher SPFs as they to offer you the best protection to prevent tanning.

We also recommend using a mineral sunscreen because they offer some of the best protection and tend to be a better when compared with the more typical sunscreen lotions

We recommend: BLUE Lizard Sunscreen

Keep in mind if you are spending more than a few hours in the sun you should reapply sunscreen every 3-4 hours and after any time spent in the water or swimming pools.

Reapplication makes sure that your skin is protected as best as possible and will help prevent a tan developing.

For our top sunblock recommendations check here – Best Sunblocks to Prevent Tanning.

#3 Avoid the Midday Sun

It might seem obvious but avoiding the sun at midday is a good idea. That’s because around midday tends to be when the sun is strongest, and the UV index is highest. The higher the UV index the faster your skin will tan and burn, therefore if possible it’s best to avoid spending time outside at this time. We talk about safer times to spend time in the sun here.

If you aren’t sure you can check your UV index where you live. That will vary depending on weather, season and where you live. The closer to the equator the stronger the UV rays will typically be.

#4 Stay in the Shade

One of the best ways on how not to get tanned is to stay in the shade. If you are spending a lot of time outside it’s a good idea to try and stay in the shade as much as possible if you want to prevent yourself from tanning.

This means anytime you spend in one spot should be spent in the shade if possible. Of course, this is not always possible but it’s something you’ll want to keep in mind when you spend time in the sun and want to protect your skin as much as possible. We talk about this more in our article here – Can You Tan in the Shade?

#5 Wear Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses when out in the sun is essential. You want sunglasses that offer full UV protection as they will stop any sun from damaging your eyes and your skin surrounding them. Sunglasses with UV400 offer the best protection for your eyes.

Because the facial skin tends to be more sensitive than the rest of the body it also tends to tan more quickly. This means that while the sunglasses will importantly protect the eyes they also help protect the eyelids and skin around the eyes which is important especially when spending a lot of time in the sun.

#6 Consider UV Protection Cosmetics

If you are wearing cosmetics it’s a good idea to wear ones with included SPF. This can apply to makeup and things like lip balm.

This offers your skin additional protection that will further help protect your skin from sun tanning. Look for products that have SPF included.

Moisturizers and lotions with included SPF are also a brilliant idea because they help keep the skin moist along with adding additional protection to the skin.

Interesting Related Questions

Why I Get Tan So Easily?

People who tan more easily do so due to genetics. This is mainly due to something called melanin in the skin. People who tan more easily have more melanin in the skin.

So, when they spend more time in the sun this causes the melanin in the skin to become darker which causes the tanning effect to your skin.

How Can I Avoid Getting Darker in the Sun?

Some of the best ways to avoid getting darker in the sun are by using clothes and covering your skin more with clothes to help protect them. You can also use any clothing or things like towels for some protection.

The second important thing you should do to avoid getting darker is to apply a stronger sunscreen. Sunscreen blocks most UV rays but not all, so keep that in mind when spending a lot of time in the sun.

Does Sunscreen Avoid Tanning?

Sunscreen will help protect the sun and lowers the chance of the skin becoming tanned. Keep in mind that sunscreens do not offer 100% protection so some UV can still pass through, and you could eventually tan if you spend more time in the sun.

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